The Ladder to There

If you’re good at what you do, chances are you’ll get promoted. And, with every promotion you’ll find yourself in a new environment where you have to quickly learn new competencies. What got you here won’t get you there! At each new level, we have to throw away the old ladder and begin to build a new one that goes up.

Act as if! If you want the new job, start acting as if you were doing it long before you’re given the new title or the actual promotion. This doesn’t mean elbow your boss or team leader out of the way. Instead, be their biggest champion. Imagine yourself in the new role long before the promotion is at hand. If you are on a team and want to be the team leader, what would you do if you were the leader? This subtle shift in our point of view will have us speak up differently in meetings, have us alter the conversations we have with our teammates, and begin focus on bigger issues and challenges.

Don’t be surprised if you hit the wall with every promotion! The bigger your promotion, the steeper your learning curve, and if you’re smart and ambitious, you’ll get lots of promotions and you’ll hit lots of walls. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone and you never have to stay stuck.

Do you have an internal mentor or champion? If you don’t have either, have you asked anyone to fill that role for you? The most important thing we’ve seen the most upwardly mobile people do, is to make sure that they act as a champion or mentor to others. People who succeed in organizations make sure that the people around them are succeeding. And, not surprisingly, they are always working themselves out of their jobs. Become more successful by giving away what you know, guiding others to success, and staying open and curious about all the things that you don’t yet know.

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